Disclaimer: I do not own FullMetal Alchemist. Yes, I decided to make Ed tall, but that's only because there is no automail to weigh him down and keep him from growing. Plus, I always liked the tall prince character thing.
Winry was wearing her best dress, though that wasn't saying much. It wasn't that beautiful by anyone's standards, for her family was poor and could not afford to buy fancy dresses, but it did not detract from the natural beauty that her mother and father professed that she had.
She didn't normally wear this dress. It was only for special occasions, but this day, by far, was a special occasion.
At eighteen, the Crown Prince of Amestris, Edward Elric, was to ride through the town.
As he had quite a sheltered childhood, no one really knew what he looked like, except, of course, the King, Queen, younger Prince and some of the nobles.
The town was completely looking forward to it. Well, most of the town was, in any case.
Winry, however, found no interest in it. She found no point in standing outside looking at a man on a horse who they would rarely, if ever, see again.
Her parents told her that she should be interested in who the royals were, because they were the people who would improve their lives.
Her mother was quite an optimist. For years, they had been living on very little money. Taxes were high, and Winry was doubtful that it would change any time soon.
She sighed and walked outside. The procession was going to start soon.
And so it did.
The parade was heralded by a fanfare from men marching with their trumpets in hand.
The Guard, who were all on horseback, came first, headed by General Roy Mustang, someone who was not disliked, but not loved by the people.
It seemed that the entire army passed, and Winry began to feel quite bored.
Suddenly, it seemed, someone had thrown a little girl's doll into the street, and she went to retrieve it, which stopped the procession.
One man, a lieutenant by his looks, looked very angry and dismounted.
"How dare you?" he asked the girl who was now shaking with fear. "You insolent little child!"
The man raised his hand as if to slap the little girl.
Before Winry knew what she was doing or where she was going, she put herself between the man and the girl and received the slap herself.
She heard the gasps of the crowd but did not flinch; she only glared at the man.
"Lieutenant Yoki," said a man's voice, "what is the meaning of this?"
Winry bowed her head, for she only had one guess as to who it might be, since it came from the direction of the procession that had not passed her yet.
"We-well, the small one stopped the procession," Yoki stuttered.
"Really?" The prince asked. He sidestepped Winry to kneel down next the little girl. "What is your name?"
"Nina," said the little girl.
"Well now, Nina, I am sure that your parents taught you that it is dangerous to run out into the middle of a crowded street," he said in a surprisingly caring voice.
"Well, a boy threw my dolly, and I went to go get it," she said.
"You see?" the prince said to Yoki as he stood up. "This one is guilty of nothing but trying to retrieve a doll."
The Prince then looked to Winry, her head was still bowed.
"And you?" he asked her.
"I ran out for I saw that man about to slap the little girl," she said. Her eyes were still on the ground. "Forgive me for saying so, but I do not think that anyone has the right to treat a child like that."
The prince reached put his hand under her chin and lifted her head.
"You have a pretty face," he said, "but you should watch that sharp tongue of yours. It could get you in trouble one day. What is your name?"
"Winry Rockbell, sir," she said, and she quickly looked down again. The prince was quite handsome, and she had to hide her face that was quickly turning a sunburned red.
"Well then," he said, "I believe that both of you should be heading back. Move along, Lieutenant."
"Yes, sire," the rat-faced man said.
Both rejoined the parade as it started up again as Winry and Nina walked back to the side.
"I think the prince is nice," said the little girl, hugging her doll.
"Yes, he is," the older girl agreed. And he is also highly unusual, she added in her mind.
Winry made her way back over to her parents.
"Oh, thank goodness," her mother said, hugging her. "I thought for sure that you were going to be arrested!"
"You were very lucky that the prince stepped in," her father said. "You are also lucky that he seems to be a forgiving man."
"Yes, father," she said.
She pondered that for a moment. Why had the prince stepped in? It would have been resolved quicker if he had just let the guard arrest her.
When the parade ended, she walked back to her house in quite a daze. None of it made any sense.
Her world had always been neat and tidy.
She had a caring mother and father, and she had friends. She never cared for the royals because she assumed that none of them had ever cared for any part of her class.
But the parade seemed to have changed something. That morning, she couldn't have cared less about Prince Edward or anyone like him, but suddenly, it was his face swimming in her mind.
He had smiled at her, he had touched her face. Obviously, when one looked at his parents, they would naturally assume that the children would just as attractive, so why was she so caught off guard by him?
It was probably because he seemed to care so much. He stopped the punishment of two girls, and he did not act like a superior. It was almost as if he thought that they were equals.
Winry nearly laughed at the thought of a prince considering commoners equal to him.
That answer seemed correct, but at the same time, it did not.
There was something more to it, but what was it?
AN: FINALLY! You have no idea how long it has taken me to churn out this chapter. As for my other stories, currently, they are on hiatus. It's obvious for the Rose/Scorpius one, but I didn't have room on the summary for "Haruhi". As for this, it's going to have some Cinderella influence. I like Disney, just not Disney Channel.